Vivian Newman has an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education and a certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education from Hebrew College. In addition to writing, she is an Educational Consultant for PJ Library, an initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Her previous chldren’s books include Ella’sTrip to Israel and Tikkun Olam Ted.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“It’s not often that someone comes along that’s a true friend and good writer. Charlotte was both.” (from Charlotte’s Web by EB White.)
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
JK Rowling, Roald Dahl, Patricia Polacco
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
As a child, I loved to read (and draw.) I decided at the age of 8 that I would like to become an author and illustrator so that I could create more of the books that I loved so dearly. Between the ages of 8-12, I wrote and illustrated several books. They all started out fine, but I was never able to finish a single one, and so my desire to become an author soon faded. When I began consulting for the PJ Library, I discovered that many important topics and areas of Jewish interest do not yet appear in Jewish children’s books. I became excited about trying my hand at writing again, and trying to fill in some of the existing gaps in literature for Jewish children.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Never give up!